It can't be easy, coming up with something fresh every year to promote the U.S. Open Series. In fact, the presenters have, for the most part, given up producing something fresh, and--for the last couple of years--have gone with the same theme: A group of WTA and ATP players are on a bus, or outside a bus, talking about the "greatest road trip in sports." One of the promotional spots always includes some outtakes--you can't go wrong using outtakes. And this year's outtake version is one of my very favorites since the series began five years ago.
The spot begins with a flub by Maria Sharapova, and that is amusing, but the reason I watch it as much as I can is to see Anna Chakvetadze. This is Chakvetadze's only appearance in any of the ads, and it is hardly a conventional outtake. She is standing in front of the bus, looking deadly serious, and in that wonderful gutteral voice that belongs in a Josef von Sternberg film, she tells us, "I am on the grreat...rroad...trips..." It cracks me up every time I see it.